No player is bigger than the game

The Australian ball-tampering story that has rocked the sporting world should come as no surprise really. The behaviour of some of the Aussie stars on this tour of South Africa has been nothing short of disgraceful.

How David Warner and co have been allowed to carry on like pork chops on this tour without any sanction from the captain, coach and Cricket Australia tells me that the ‘monkeys are running the zoo’. In other other words, the people who are in charge of the game, for too long have been at the mercy of these overpaid players, with egos to match.

Firstly, it was the pay dispute which went on way too long and there is no doubting the fact that the proposition of losing a couple of big stars to full-time Twenty20 arena was a deciding factor in CA bowing to the player’s demands.

Warner was adamant that the topline players were really careful about looking after the game at a grassroots level. That’s bunkum and us cricket fans all know it!

We, the sanctimonious Australian team, who have sat on our high horse while other nations have been criticised for ball tampering, gambling and other indiscretions are suddenly in the crosshairs of world sport. And we have no choice other than to take stern action.

The boss of the Australian Sports Commission got it right this morning when she said: “If these players were part of the Olympic team they would be on the first plane home.”

Cricket and sports supporters in general in this country want nothing less than to see Smith and Warner, and anyone else involved in this mindless act of stupidity, to be rubbed out of the game for a time; to learn a lesson; to learn respect for the baggy green they are ‘so proudly’ wearing; to pay a price for bringing our great game into disrepute; and to stop taking us fans for ordinary old mugs.

Nothing else other than a holiday on the sidelines and Smith being stripped of the captaincy will suffice.

It must always be remembered that ‘no player is bigger than the game’.